Twitter mailbag: Pursuit of Ezekiel Elliott not a smokescreen

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:

** Ezekiel Elliott smokescreen

** Biggest need

** Jason Jones

Away we go:

@toddarcher: If it is a smokescreen, the Cowboys are carrying it out with flare. They worked him out privately at Ohio State. They had him in at Valley Ranch for a visit as well. Teams have only 30 visits, so I’m not sure you waste that for a smokescreen. Now, it would surprise me if the Cowboys take Elliott at No. 4, but I would argue -- and have argued -- he would be worth it. He would be a game-changer for the offense and help the defense. He could do for the Cowboys what DeMarco Murray did in 2014. Trading down for Elliott would be tricky. There are teams in the top 10 that could take Elliott, so the Cowboys would have to be careful as to how far they move back. Last year, Todd Gurley went No. 10 overall despite a serious knee injury. Is Elliott as explosive as Gurley? I don’t know if he has that type of gas, but for the Cowboys' offense he would be perfect. Smokescreen? I would hesitate to call it that.

@toddarcher: I think it is. I know some people will argue that backup quarterback is the biggest need, because the Cowboys have not addressed that at all in free agency or yet in a potential trade. Cedric Thornton was an unsung signing. Benson Mayowa is a mystery because he is so unknown and has just two career sacks. Jack Crawford is a solid signing and he can play multiple spots. But the Cowboys need more. Randy Gregory will miss the first four games. DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off back surgery. Rod Marinelli's defense works best when the pass rush is flying. He hasn’t had much of that in his two years as coordinator. Last year’s experiment with Greg Hardy didn’t go as planned. If I had to make a pick right now -- again, my pick -- I would say Joey Bosa and not think twice about it. Defenses have to pressure the passer. They could have the best corners in the world and they wouldn’t have much of a chance without a pass rush.

@toddarcher: There is still interest in Jason Jones but I think the focus has turned to the draft so it’s kind of on hold. That might be in the best interest of Jones. I think he would be a help to the Cowboys as a veteran presence with the ability to play multiple spots. But if the Cowboys go heavy at pass rusher in the draft, then I can see the Cowboys and Jones going in different directions. Jones would then have the chance to survey the rosters and see where he can help most. The Cowboys will kick off their draft meetings in earnest next week, so free agency will fall to the wayside. That doesn’t mean they can’t multi-task. It just means there’s no pressing need to get a signing done right away.